The last few weeks have been pretty hectic for Ole Miss signee Corey Gaines.
Since receiving a qualifying score on his SAT, the 6-foot 280 pound defensive tackle has been committed to the weight room, with plans to arrive in Oxford early next week.
Being such a dramatic step in his life, Gaines understandably has some mixed emotions about settling into his new home for the next four years.
"I'm real excited," Gaines said of becoming academically eligible. "The plan is to arrive on the 23rd of June. It's bittersweet, but I'm excited because it's another chapter in my life."
Despite playing both ways for Amos P. Godby (Fla.) as a senior, Gaines projects on the defensive side as a freshman for the Rebels.
Gaines played mostly offensive line his junior season, where he graded out at close to 90 percent and had 48 pancakes blocks in the 2007 season. However, he turned the heads of many college recruiters when he collected a pair of sacks during the 2007 playoffs in limited action.
"I want to get some playing time and some sacks, but if they decide to redshirt me, that's fine," he said of his freshman goals. "I still need to work on my technique and learn the playbook. Also, I want to get a head start in the classroom. I just want to help the team out the best I can."
While most high school standouts participate in multiple sports during the spring, Gaines' has kept things rather quiet these days.
Outside of a rigorous workout regimen, the Tallahassee native is taking some time to himself, as his everyday schedule will soon be filled with a constant devotion to his craft.
"I've been doing a lot of running and lifting," said Gaines. "Ole Miss sent me a workout plan that consists of a lot of strength and conditioning. The goal is to help get me in the best shape possible. I'm in better shape right now, but I still have to continue working."
Devoted to academics, Gaines understands that school comes first. The Army All-American will be majoring in Business Administration and is going to focus on his studies initially.
"My motto is that that I'm a student-athlete first," said Gaines. "You're only guaranteed one play. I know if something happens, I'll have something to fall back on in my education. I'm going to commit myself to the classroom. It's exciting. I'm ready to get up there and get started."
Gaines was offered by Tennessee, Arkansas, Auburn, Ole Miss, Iowa State, Colorado, Rutgers, South Florida, and Central Florida.
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